MIA World War II veteran returns home after DNA testing

DNA testing

After missing for 77 years a fallen World War II veteran’s remains are set to return home.

Dante Sylveste Tini, the son of Italian immigrants, was born and raised in Virginia, Minnesota after his parents had moved to the USA shortly before the 1920s. As soon as he finished High School, he signed up to join the Navy. At 19 years old, he was serving as a radioman aboard the U.S.S Oklahoma, when it was struck by a torpedo. He was supposed to have been headed home in just a few days and had sent back many of his personal belongings in advance of his leave. However, another crew member asked if Tini could work his shift. Tini obliged. He died in the hull of the ship where he worked.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Tini was one of 2403 service members and civilians killed during the Japanese attack that led to the country’s entry into World War II. After the attacks on Pearl Harbor, Tini was buried in a mass grave and declared missing in action (MIA). Now, nearly 80 years later, he’s missing no more. Tini’s family was identified with the help of DNA testing.

“There were four samples, but the first one was a 100% hit,” said his niece Barb Maki.

Less than a year later, Tini’s remains will be coming home, and the family is planning a funeral.

“It’s kind of bittersweet to be planning a funeral you’re happy to have”, said his other niece Renee Prout.

Tini’s remains will be flown back the week of Memorial Day, most likely the 23rd or 24th of May. His funeral and burial will be done with full military honors in Virginia. He will be buried near his parents at Calvary Cemetery after a procession is held through downtown Virginia.

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